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Defending champion Chloe Dygert crashed out of the elite women’s individual time trial at Imola Worlds on Friday, suffering a severe leg injury.
The 23-year-old American lost control in a sweeping right-hand corner about two-thirds of the way through her time trial, hitting the metal road barriers and crashing down into a field. She sustained severe damage to her left leg, with a large wound from mid-thigh down to her left knee, and was taken to a hospital in Bologna, where she underwent surgery.
Dygert came into the corner at high speed. Halfway through the corner, she appeared to tighten her line and her bike began to wobble, which sent her straight into the barriers. The source of the wobble is unclear. The corner had large pads most of the way around but they ended shortly before the spot where Dygert made impact.
Dygert appeared to be on pace to repeat as world champion prior to the crash. She was ahead of Anna van der Breggen by 26.54 seconds at the first time check.
Video of the crash is visible here.
The young American abandoned the race, which van der Breggen would go on to win with a time of 40:20:14.
Dygert was conscious and talking after the crash. Her father told the Indianapolis Star that although she did not break any bones, her quadriceps was sliced “from one side to the other” and a ligament was “severed or severely damaged.”
According to USA Cycling, Dygert is now “out of surgery, resting comfortably and is expected to make a full recovery.”